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DRAMA. DRAMA EVOLVES OVER TIME AND ACROSS CULTURES. Drama all over the world began as religious ritual. Greek drama, both tragedy and comedy, originated in festivals celebrating Dionysus, god of wine and fertility.

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  2. Drama all over the world began as religious ritual.

  3. Greek drama, both tragedy and comedy, originated in festivals celebrating Dionysus, god of wine and fertility.

  4. The word “drama” comes from the Greek word “dran,” meaning “to do” or “to act.”

  5. Lucius Annaeus Seneca was the most important of ROMAN tragedy writers.

  6. The simplest way to distinguish between tragedy and comedy is to say that a tragedy has an unhappy ending and a comedy has a happy one.

  7. Another way to distinguish between tragedy and comedy is to talk about the kinds of CHARACTERS found in tragedy and comedy.

  8. Traditional tragedies trace the fall of someone whose stature is greater than that of an ordinary person.

  9. Comedies often depict ordinary individuals or stock characters.

  10. During the Middle Ages, drama was, for a while, confined to strolling minstrels and players.

  11. From the Church grew another form of drama. Bible stories were acted out, first by priests before the altar and later by actors on the steps of the cathedral.

  12. Biblical plays gave way to what were called “morality plays.” These plays were enacted to teach certain morals or lessons.

  13. As Greek and Roman manuscripts began to be rediscovered, the classical dramas were copied and restaged.

  14. By the end of the 16th century, the folk, religious, and classical elements of the theater had culminated in the dramas of William Shakespeare.

  15. Certain forms of drama have become associated with particular countries…

  16. The English have often used the stage to laugh at themselves and to criticize their own society.

  17. The French have produced plays that are, for the most part, cool, objective, and ironic – a theater of the mind...

  18. Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus are two of the pivotal modern French playwrights.

  19. Toward the end of the 19th century, the Scandinavians produced a series of “social” dramas.

  20. They were angry, hardheaded attacks on middle-class society.

  21. Americans became famous for the development of musical comedies and movies, which made Broadway and Hollywood household terms.


  23. Over the centuries, plays have generally clustered around 2 poles: tragedy and comedy These terms were first established by the Greeks

  24. “Tragos” in Greek means “goat,” and “oide” means “song,” thus, “goatsong.” This was a primitive play in which an actor, dressed in goatskin, sang his lines.

  25. As Greek drama developed, the word “tragedy” came to be applied to serious plays.

  26. These plays depicted the fall and death of a noble character who is in conflict with forces beyond his/her control.

  27. Tragedy requires that the hero-heroine make choices that lead to a situation from which there is no escape.

  28. Tragedy is the confrontation of human intelligence with forces that intelligence cannot cope with.

  29. The hero/heroine often brings about his/her own downfall through the tragic flaw of hubris, excessive pride or arrogance.

  30. Aristotle wrote that tragedy should provide a catharsis, a release of emotions, for the viewer.

  31. “Komos” in Greek means “festival,” and “oide” means “song,” thus “comedy.”

  32. Most likely, this song was sung by a daring peasant who, with temporary immunity, poked fun at the king and nobility, in order to let them know some of their faults.

  33. Comedy eventually developed into a special form of theater in which a comic hero acted out a story that mocked social customs and procedures.

  34. Aristophanes The greatest writer of Greek comedies

  35. The best comedy of all ages seems to have continued in this tradition…

  36. Comedy usually… • takes aim at society. • advocates change. • makes us laugh.

  37. Both tragic and comic figures struggle against authority of some sort, BUT

  38. In tragedy, the odds are usually unconquerable;

  39. In comedy, the hero/heroine is usually able to overthrow the authority figure and the play ends happily.

  40. Characters in Greek comedy are ordinary people in ordinary situations.

  41. Tragedies sometimes do contain humor.

  42. Uses of Humor Inside Tragedy • To produce round characters • To make particular points • To relieve the seriousness of a specific scene

  43. CONVENTIONS (Practices) OF DRAMA

  44. Greek Conventions • Chorus • Choragos • Odes

  45. Elizabethan Conventions • Asides • Soliloquies

  46. Screenplay(drama written for a movie) • Voice-over • Dissolve

  47. Teleplay(drama written for T.V.) • Limit to length of program • Limit to size of screen • Close-ups are important

  48. DIALOGUE • The most important device for presenting character and for moving the action of the story along

  49. FARCE Kind of comedy that makes use of • exaggerated characters, • absurd situations, and • considerable physical action.

  50. In farce, • the situation is always more significant than the characters; and • the action is more important than the dialogue.

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